New Delhi: Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat on Friday warned Pakistan against any repeat of an intrusion into Indian territory two decades ago stating that Pakistan would get a "bloodier nose" if it did so.
Rawat’s warning came on the 20th anniversary of the Kargil conflict between India and Pakistan commemorated on 26 July every year. More than 500 soldiers died in India’s attempt to clear military posts routinely vacated by Indian troops during winter months in the Kargil mountains at heights of 18,000 feet (5,486 metres). India has since then not left the posts unmanned.
"This (Kargil) was a misadventure. Misadventures should not be repeated. You will get a bloodier nose next time," Rawat said referring to Pakistan at a media briefing in Indian Kashmir, news reports said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the country in paying homage to Indian soldiers killed in the two month long war in the icy mountains of Kashmir’s Kargil region. Early on Friday, Modi tweeted a photo from 1999 when he said he went to Kargil to "show solidarity with our brave soldiers". He paid tributes to the "mighty warriors who sacrificed everything to defend the motherland".
In his remarks in Parliament, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said: "Our neighbouring country (Pakistan) cannot fight a full- fledged war or a limited war with India. It is fighting a proxy war."
The Kargil conflict is seen as the fourth war fought between India and Pakistan and the third over the Himalayan region of Kashmir that Pakistan claims in its entirety. The two countries had previously fought two wars in 1947 and 1965 over Kashmir while their third war in 1971 led to the bifurcation of Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh.
India accuses Pakistan of fomenting an Islamic insurgency in Kashmir, a charge Pakistan denies though it admits to extending moral and political support to what it calls the “freedom struggle in Kashmir."
Ties hit a new low in February when a suicide car bomb attack, perpetrated by a recruit from the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist group, against an Indian security convoy killed 40 paramilitary personnel.
New Delhi has refused to restart talks with Pakistan to resolve its disputes unless Pakistan takes 'concrete' and 'irreversible' action against terrorist groups operating against India from its soil.